New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will not accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Donald Trump.

Belichick – widely considered the greatest coach in NFL history – was set to be awarded the medal by United States president Trump on Thursday.

However, Belichick has spurned the offer after supporters of Trump – whose presidential term will end on January 20 – stormed the United States Capitol last week.

"Recently I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honour represents and admiration for prior recipients," Belichick said in a statement on Monday.

"Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award.

"Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation's values, freedom and democracy. I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team.

"One of the most rewarding things in my professional career took place in 2020 when, through the great leadership within our team, conversations about social justice, equality and human rights moved to the forefront and became actions.

"Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award."

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded by the United States president "for especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavours".

Past recipients of the award include Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Babe Ruth and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Belichick, who just concluded his 46th season in the NFL and 21st in New England – has enjoyed great success since taking charge of the Patriots in 2000.

The 68-year-old has won six Super Bowls, joining George Halas and Curly Lambeau as the only coaches with six championships since the league began postseason play in 1933.

Belichick (280) sits third on the NFL's all-time list for regular-season wins, behind Don Shula (328) and Halas (318).

He is also third for regular and postseason victories with 311, adrift of Shula (347) and Halas (324), while Belichick tops the list for playoff triumphs (31).

The 2022 US PGA Championship will no longer be held at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster.

The PGA of America announced on Sunday it had terminated its agreement to play the major at the course owned by United States president Donald Trump.

It comes just days after supporters of the president stormed the United States Capitol.

"The PGA of America Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster," PGA of America president Jim Richerson said in a statement.

"It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand and would put at risk the PGA's ability to deliver our many programs and sustain the longevity of our mission," Richerson added in a video.

The decision to hold the tournament at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster was made in 2014.

Russell Westbrook, Doc Rivers and Billie Jean King reacted with revulsion to the assault on the US Capitol by supporters of outgoing president Donald Trump, united in the view there would have been a deadlier outcome had the rioters been black people.

On a dark day for the United States, thousands of Trump backers descended on Washington for a protest rally, refusing to accept the result of November's election that saw Joe Biden sweep to power.

Two weeks out from Biden's inauguration, many violent protesters breached security and accessed the Capitol, causing carnage and destruction as they appeared to go largely unchallenged.

There were a number of casualties, with four dead including a woman who was shot, while reports said a number of explosive devices were discovered.

Washington Wizards star Westbrook said: "It's very unfortunate to see. If those roles were reversed, if those were African-Americans, black people, it would be totally different."

He said the chaos was "just crazy, almost like a movie", and team-mate Bradley Beal agreed it was hard to stomach the scenes, given his view that police took a far less lenient approach to protesters during last year's Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

"It's very disheartening in a lot of ways - a lack of sense of urgency to respond to what was going on, versus protesters at Black Lives Matter over the summer," Beal said.

"The people who were invading our Capitol, that's unheard of and it's disheartening this is where we're at as a country."

Veteran Philadelphia 76ers coach Rivers called the insurgency "pretty disturbing" but vowed that "democracy will prevail".

"It shows a lot, though," Rivers said. "When you saw the [Black Lives Matter] protests in the summer, you saw the riots or more the police and the national guard and the army. And then you see this and you saw nothing.

"It basically proves the point about a privileged life in a lot of ways. I'll say it because I don’t think a lot of people want to: could you imagine today if those were all black people storming the Capitol and what would have happened?

"So that to me is a picture that’s worth a thousand words for all of us to see and probably something for us to reckon with again."

Tennis great King, a long-time activist for equality in sport and society, added on Twitter: "If the rioters storming the Capitol building today were Black and Brown people, the police response would be much different."

Footballer Megan Rapinoe became embroiled in a war of words with Trump during USA's triumph at the 2019 Women's World Cup.

Looking at footage of how seemingly easily the protesters were able to break into the Capitol, Rapinoe offered her opinion, writing: "This is crazy, how did they even get through the..... ohhhhh it was opened for them."

Trump had addressed the crowds earlier in the day, forcefully standing by his view that he was fraudulently robbed of an election win.

In the hours after the Capitol was cleared, Congress confirmed Biden's victory.

Richard Sherman, the San Francisco 49ers cornerback, described the rioters as "terrorists".

He wrote on Twitter: "Never thought Americans would let terrorists into the capital without a fight....sad day. There are certain things my brain could never imagine.... and one of them is black ppl storming a government building and taking things without deadly consequences. But that’s just my brain."

It was not just Sherman's brain thinking along those lines, though. Far from it.

Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard took the same stance, saying: "You just see the privilege, the privilege in America. "It's sad to see, because if any of us was out there, I think we would've been tear-gassed, Maced, probably gunshots, you know?"

And American track and field legend Michael Johnson said the scenes were only to be expected, given the nature of the Trump presidency.

"The alarms were sounded for four years. Republicans ignored them. Many in the media ignored them and normalized dangerous behavior," Johnson wrote on Twitter.

"Sadly, today it all came to be. Shameful! This president and his supporters. Shame on you! And take responsibility!

"People on Twitter (of course) literally equating BLM protesters fighting for justice and equality to White Supremacist Trump supporters (supposed Patriots) gleefully and violently desecrating America's oldest and greatest institutions of democracy. Sadly, this is typical America."

United States footballer Megan Rapinoe and basketball star Sue Bird have announced their engagement, with Joe Biden among the first to offer congratulations.

Two-time Women's World Cup winner Rapinoe, who was hugely influential in last year's triumph at the finals in France, met Bird at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

They announced they were a couple in July 2017, and Bird has now posted a picture on Instagram of Rapinoe putting a ring on her left hand.

Speaking to ESPN three years ago, Rapinoe explained how she and four-time Olympic gold medallist Bird found love, saying: "We have a lot in common and just sort of clicked. I joke she is my number one go-to-for-advice person. She's just so level-headed."

Tennis great Billie Jean King sent warm wishes to the couple, with Chelsea Clinton also congratulating Rapinoe and Bird, as did football's US Women's National Team and the WNBA's Seattle Storm, Bird's long-time team.

US presidential candidate Biden wrote on Twitter: "Love will always win. Congratulations, @S10Bird and @mPinoe!"

Earlier this year, Rapinoe offered to be the running mate for Biden, the Democratic Party's candidate.

The 35-year-old has used her platform to speak out on societal issues including racism, homophobia and the gender pay gap.

She drew the ire of incumbent US president Donald Trump having said she had no intention of visiting him if the USA won last year's Women's World Cup.

Outspoken UFC star Colby Covington hit out at "all the slime in Hollywood" as he took aim at those he claims have wished harm on United States president Donald Trump.

Trump was this week taken into hospital after contracting coronavirus, with the 74-year-old later declaring on Saturday night that he is "feeling much better" and hoping to be "back soon".

Covington is a well-known supporter of the president and took a personal call from Trump after defeating Tyron Woodley in his latest fight last month.

The 32-year-old was in attendance for the first presidential debate between Trump and election rival Joe Biden in Cleveland last Tuesday and told his fans he has since tested negative for COVID-19.

In the same update, posted on Instagram, Covington took the opportunity to take a swipe at Trump's detractors.

"For the people who constantly slander my name, but are all of a sudden concerned with my health and well being: I'm COVID free," Covington wrote.

"I've been tested 7 times in the past 3 weeks, including prior to and after meeting with the POTUS. I was also tested during fight week, as well as before and after the debate. ALL NEGATIVE.

"Speaking of ALL NEGATIVE, how about all the slime in Hollywood and woke sports wishing harm on a 74 year old grandfather!?! How tolerant!

"Unfortunately for them and fortunately for America, @realdonaldtrump is a fighter!!! He KO's the fake news media daily. He KO'd Slow Joe and Chris Wallace at the same time on Tuesday! Now it's time for a casual weekend KO of COVID! Here's to a speedy recovery and 4 MORE YEARS!!!"

Colby Covington beat Tyron Woodley by TKO before taking a call from United States president Donald Trump on Saturday.

Covington dominated Woodley in Las Vegas before a rib injury ended the fight in the fifth round.

The 32-year-old Covington attended a Trump rally last week and he received a call from the president after his win over Woodley.

"You are a great fighter man, I tell you, you make it so easy, I don't know how the hell you do that," Trump said in the call, which took place during Covington's interview on ESPN.

"Congratulations, I wanted to watch that fight tonight, I wanted to watch it, you were great."

Former interim welterweight champion Covington improved his record to 16-2 in his first fight since December last year, when he lost to Kamaru Usman for the title at UFC 245.

United States president Donald Trump labelled the NBA a "political organisation" amid protests against racial injustice.

The NBA saw three play-off games postponed on Wednesday and another three on Thursday as players protest in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

Asked for his reaction to the protest, Trump accused the NBA of turning into a political body.

"I don't know about the NBA protest. I know their ratings have been very bad because I think people are tired of the NBA frankly," he told reporters.

"But I don't know too much about the protest, but I know their ratings have been very bad and that's unfortunate.

"They've become a political organisation and that's not a good thing for sports or the country."

While games have been postponed, the NBA playoffs are expected to resume in the coming days.

United States president Donald Trump suggested Drew Brees caved "under the PR pressure" as he doubled down on his criticism of the New Orleans Saints quarterback.

Earlier this month, Brees issued an apology for comments he made about kneeling during the national anthem, a gesture first made in the NFL by Colin Kaepernick in 2016 when he was protesting racial injustice and police brutality.

The 41-year-old initially said he disagreed with sports stars who take a knee while the anthem is playing, remarks which were made in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis last month, prompting demonstrations across the United States and beyond.

Brees' comments sparked responses of outrage, including from team-mates Michael Thomas and Malcolm Jenkins.

He later asked for forgiveness, saying he "completely missed the mark", an apology that drew condemnation from Trump on Twitter.

Trump, speaking in a video with his son Donald Trump Jr. on the Team Trump YouTube page, delved further into the issue, claiming Brees "hurt himself very badly".

"I was shocked, because I consider him a great football player, but I consider him a champion and a star and I didn't understand what was going on," Trump said. 

"And he took it back and I've never seen anything like it and I think he hurt himself very badly. 

"I was going to put out that he'll regret that in the future years because you stand for the flag. You have to stand for the flag and the anthem. Our national anthem, you have to stand. I think the NFL's gonna have a lot of problems if they don't."

Trump suggested Brees does not necessarily believe his own apology and merely acted to stem the wave of criticism coming his way.

"A lot of warriors, they cave under PR pressure because his manager said, 'Oh this isn't right', and his team-mates said, 'This isn't right', and all of a sudden he's out there disclaiming about the flag and the country," Trump added.

"I don't believe he believes his second statement, by the way. He may believe it, but what he should be doing is not talking about the second, he should have stuck with his first."

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees responded to United States president Donald Trump and called for change in the country.

Trump criticised the 41-year-old for apologising for his comments about kneeling during the national anthem, saying his stance should not have changed.

Brees said earlier this week he disagreed with protests in which sports stars have knelt during the anthem.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in protest against racial injustice and police brutality while he was playing in the NFL.

After Trump's tweets on Friday, Brees responded on social media, saying it was time for change in the USA.

"To @realdonaldtrump. Through my ongoing conversations with friends, team-mates, and leaders in the black community, I realise this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been," he wrote on Instagram.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

To @realdonaldtrump Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities. We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when? We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on

"We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities.

"We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation's history! If not now, then when?

"We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us."

United States president Donald Trump criticised New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for apologising for his comments about kneeling during the national anthem.

Brees, 41, apologised after saying he disagreed with protests in which sports stars have knelt during the anthem.

His comments came in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis last week, prompting demonstrations across the United States and beyond.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in protest against racial injustice and police brutality while he was playing in the NFL.

But Trump believes Brees should not have apologised for his stance.

"I am a big fan of Drew Brees," he wrote on Twitter. "I think he's truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high.

"We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart.

"There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag - NO KNEELING!"

Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta believes the NBA season will be completed following the coronavirus crisis.

The 2019-20 NBA campaign has been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has wreaked havoc globally – pushing the Olympic Games and Euro 2020 back a year.

At the time of postponement, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) owned the best record in the league, ahead of LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers (49-14), the Toronto Raptors (46-18) and Kawhi Leonard's Los Angeles Clippers (44-20).

It remains to be seen when, and if, the season will resume as NBA commissioner Adam Silver considers various options.

Fertitta met with United States president Donald Trump at the White House on Monday and when asked what would happen with basketball, the former said: "I think what they're doing is waiting to see what happens in certain states and if we're going to be able to play.

"Making sure the virus continues to go in the right direction in the next few weeks. And I think that if things are going in the way that it's going, I think the NBA, the commissioner Adam Silver, who has done an unbelievable job through this, and the 30 owners will make the decision to try to start the season up again."

After being asked by Trump if the season would be finished or not, Fertitta replied: "I think that there's talk about finishing the season playing X number of games.

"The players need to play to get paid, and right now they're taking a 25 per cent pay cut. They own 50 per cent of our revenue, unlike the other sports. And so they want that revenue, even if it's not the people-in-the-stands revenue, so they can get paid."

There has been talk that the NBA could head straight into the playoffs if the season resumes.

"I think that we would play some games just to get it going again and create interest and then go right into the playoffs," Fertitta said. "But I think it'll be great for America. We're all missing sports and everybody wants to see these great NBA teams."

United States president Donald Trump wants to see "big crowds" at the rescheduled Masters.

The 2020 Masters was moved from April to November due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 316,000 people worldwide.

Trump is hoping Augusta can welcome plenty of fans, despite the United States being hit hard by COVID-19.

"We want to get it back to where it was. We want big, big stadiums loaded with people," Trump told NBC on Sunday.

"We want to have, when you have the Masters, we want to have big crowds. Right now, that's not what they're planning, but you never know.

"Things can happen very quickly."

Trump was speaking as Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson beat Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in the TaylorMade Driving Relief skins match, raising over $5.5million for coronavirus relief.

The USA has more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, with its death toll exceeding 90,900.

United States president Donald Trump said he is "tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old" as he eyes the return of sport following the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has brought sport to a standstill around the world – the NBA, NHL, MLS, PGA Tour and NASCAR seasons were among those suspended, while the start of the MLB campaign was pushed back and there are concerns over the NFL.

The Olympic Games have been postponed until 2021, as well as Euro 2020 and the Copa America due to coronavirus, which has killed more than 126,500 people globally and over 26,000 in the US.

Addressing COVID-19 and sport on Tuesday, Trump told reporters: "In sports – we want to get our sports back, so importantly.

"We have to get our sports back. I'm tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old. But I haven't actually had too much time to watch.

"I would say maybe I watch one batter, and then I get back to work."

Trump also revealed an advisory group that will work to help reopen the US economy.

The group includes NBA commissioner Adam Silver, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, UFC president Dana White, WWE's Vince McMahon, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

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